Series: The Winner's Trilogy #1
Published by: Farrar Straus and Giroux on March 4, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Winning what you want may cost you everything you love
As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. Set in a richly imagined new world,
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.
As much as I enjoyed The Winner’s Curse, it didn’t completely blow my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was a very good book, but I didn’t think it was ZOMG SO FREAKING UNBELIEVABLY AMAZING!!! I think I just expected a bit more from it, after all the hype and raving. It was still really good, it just didn’t totally wow me.
One of the most interesting parts of this book was the conflict. I could really see and feel how confusing it was. How do you fall in love with someone who’s supposed to be your enemy? How can you love a person but hate what they’re doing? View Spoiler » [I could really feel Kestrel’s struggle. I loved Arin, but when he started the rebellion, I was conflicted. I still loved him as a person, but how could Kestrel love him when he’s killing her people? Plotting to kill her father? Caused her best friend to become deathly ill? Killed many of her friends? It was definitely a weird love/hate thing. I loved him, but felt like if I loved him I was on his side (the Herrani). But was I with the Herrani? Or the Valorians? Crap, I don’t know!! LOL! « Hide Spoiler]
This same point is also was made the romance delicious! Kestrel and Arin were totally star-crossed lovers. Forbidden. Never going to be accepted. Mmm, delicious. They had a slow burning romance built on this conflict.
Overall, I found myself becoming really attached to the world that Marie Rutkoski created. I loved the struggle between the two groups: Herrani and Valorians. Both of them had interesting cultures, and I almost wasn’t sure who to root for. View Spoiler » [Obviously I felt bad for the Herrani at first, but once they rebelled and started killing Varlorians, I found myself feeling bad for the Valorians instead! « Hide Spoiler]
I think the one part of the book that disappointed me was that it felt slow at times. This was mostly true at the beginning of the story. There was a while when I wasn’t sure where the book was going and there wasn’t much action or plot development. It definitely picked up at the end View Spoiler » [OHMYGOD I CAN’T BELIEVE ARIN ACTUALLY KILLED CHEAT!! Did not expect that. « Hide Spoiler] , but there was still that lull in the beginning/middle.
The Winner’s Curse was definitely an interesting read and I’m psyched for the series! I’m just a tad disappointed that I didn’t adore it as much as other people seem to. As much as I enjoyed the book, I don’t imagine that it will stay ingrained in my mind for a super long time. Unlike what some people said, I don’t feel like The Winner’s Curse has ruined me for all other books.